A reply to a DA parliamentary question has revealed that the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, is nowhere closer to meeting her January 2015 deadline to implement the revised curriculum in technical schools.
Indeed, the Department undertook to implement 9 specialist technology subjects in 2015, phasing in from Grade 10, and to conducting an audit of all technical schools to ensure readiness for this change.
This audit has not been done the teachers have not been trained the textbooks have not been developed and the legal framework to support the revised curriculum is only now undergoing development.
It took a year to realise the mistake of the curriculum changes. It will now take at least 10 years to correct that mistake.
I will write to the chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education, Nomalungelo Gina, requesting that the Minister be summoned to answer for this delay.
This is but the most recent in a long list of failures with respect to our technical schools, which should be producing the artisans that our economy so desperately needs:
In 2006, ex-Minister Naledi Pandor, collapsed the subjects of fitting and turning, welding and motor mechanics into one subject, entitled mechanical technology. She carried out the same collapsing of the previous curricula in the fields of civil and electrical technology. Fields of specialisation were replaced with a jack-of-all-trades qualification.
Further to this, this new curriculum replaced the previous “functional” mathematics and physical science with the pure version of these subjects. Fewer than half of the learners studying technology are coping with this requirement, and dedicated technical schools have been forced to allow over 20 000 learners to study Maths Literacy in order to maintain a reasonable Grade 12 pass rate.
The overarching cause for concern is that this curriculum in technical schools has proven, very quickly, to be highly unpalatable to employers. Employers have shown a g unwillingness to take on apprentices passing Grade 12 with maths literacy these learners are often forced to attend a TVET college, starting over at Grade 10 level, in an attempt to pass mathematics.
Not only did this direction of school study suffer rejection by employers, it suffered similar rejection by learners. In 2007, 109 719 learners wrote a technology subject in Grade 12. By 2013, this figure had dropped to just over 45000.
The National Association of Schools of Technology and other similarly concerned stakeholders have been working closely with the Department to reverse these disastrous 2006 changes.
The Minister must now explain and she must apologise – not only to learners, their teachers, principals and parents, but to South Africa for misleading young people, and for denying our economy the skills it requires.
The Minister cannot allow this delay to persist any longer at the expense of our young people who so desperately need these skills to access jobs that would contribute a great deal to our economy.
Annette Lovemore, Shadow Minister of Basic Education
Source : Democratic Alliance